Rethink Anger: Make “Anger” your “Ally”

Friday Fun: Random Jokes

“Those entitled millennials…walking around like they rent the place.”

When Anger Attacks

Is anger the real enemy? Not quite. Have you ever felt angry while driving in traffic? Does one simply “drive” in traffic, or “sit” and inch their way through? I have an idea I want to throw out there. Anger is actually not your enemy. “Anger” could be your ally, but only when you rethink your anger in the first place.

Think about this. Anger can be “righteous” or “unrighteous.” When we talk about anger for the most part we’re talking about “unrighteous anger,” the type that leads to opening your mouth and a few moments later wanting to insert your foot. The type that leads to making belligerent comments. The type that sparks division and the type that high tales itself into rage faster than a babysitter’s boyfriend when the car pulls up. “Righteous” anger however is when we get angry about reasonable things. Your friend bailed on you for the fourth time in a row when you had plans. Your coworker blamed you for their own mistake. You find out about the harsh reality of children sold into sex slavery in Bangkok and beyond. You “should” be angry! That anger leads to action which makes a difference, hopefully!

Rethinking Anger

Think about where anger starts: Inward. Anger expresses itself outwardly. But like all things it starts in the minds and hearts of broken people. We learn from Adam Sandler’s movie, “Anger Management,” that there are a couple types of anger in how it manifests itself: implosive and explosive. When you are implosive you hold it in, internalize it and then “go off” on someone when it finally comes out. “Explosive” is when you immediately experience the emotions and express them.

Think about this. Anger is energy. It is energy that propels itself out of you, it tries to jar the bars of the cage. It wants out and it wants “at.” You want to take it out and direct it “at” someone or something. But listen. Anger can actually be your ally.

Becoming Your Ally

What if you could use the extra energy to accomplish what you couldn’t otherwise, had you not had that energy? That “oomph.” What if you listened to your anger, but what if you let it stop there. In other words you just listen to it, not take it out. Not act on it. Instead of “taking it out” you “turn it into positive action.” Turn it into energy and then use that energy for good. Feelings of “anger” can get you fired up. Guess what? That’s not a sin. It’s what you begin to think of and do with it that “can be sin.” It’s for this reason a verse in the Bible says “Be angry and do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26 ESV)

Yes, be angry. Experience the emotions. Take that energy and do something good with it. Use it CONSTRUCTIVELY not DESTRUCTIVELY. So if you’ve got that energy there, think of it as energy and then use it to rise up and have a conversation with someone about how you’re feeling. Maybe it’s the person whom you felt wronged you. Just talk to them. Chances are they haven’t a clue what they did either and need to be aware so that they too can work on it themselves and do better next time. What if no one’s ever checked them on this area of their life in which they fall short? Anger can be an ally when anger becomes constructive, because anger does not automatically produce action.

A wise man is responsive, not reactive. 

Alex Oram

November 16, 2018

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